ITU Report Considers Relationship between Climate Change, ICTS and Regulation

31 March 2011: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released its 2011 “Trends in Telecommunications Reform” on the theme “Enabling Tomorrow's Digital World.” The report highlights that effective regulation of ICTs is crucial for overall economic growth and inter alia examines the relationship between climate change, ICTs and regulation.

The report examines issues such as the changing role of regulators in a digital world and their involvement in non-traditional areas of regulatory intervention, such as ICTs, climate change and cyberthreats. Regarding climate change, the report discusses the relationship between climate change and the ICT sector, with a specific focus on telecommunications. It considers whether ICT sector regulators, specifically those in charge of regulating telecommunications service providers (TSPs), should have a more active role in environmental protection and should consider climate change issues when making decisions concerning TSPs, in light of the nature of the special position between ICT players and climate change. It also considers sector-specific regulatory interventions aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from TSPs and facilitating the ability of TSPs to curb emissions from other industry sectors. The aim of this part of the report is not to set out policy prescriptions, but to generate debate, raise awareness and commence a collaborative regulatory effort to curb greenhouse emissions in the ICT sector. [ITU Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Publication: Trends in Telecommunication reform 2010-11: Enabling Tomorrow's Digital World]